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6 Ways Employee Polls and Surveys can Transform your Business

6 minute read

What's the average age of your workforce? Any idea? If you're in a frontline industry, like retail or hospitality, for example, chances are it's pretty young.

Our recent Speakap survey of HR professionals in non-desk industries revealed that millennials make up the majority of the workforce at 48% of companies, followed by Gen X (25%), Gen Z (20%) and baby boomers (just 7%).

Interesting, you might think. Fascinating even... But what does this have to do with using employee polls and surveys within your organization?

We're glad you asked.

Our research also discovered that millennial and Gen Z employees, who make up almost three-quarters of your workforce, are increasingly in search of a sense of fulfillment and purpose, even from a part-time job. So what is required for these employees to feel that purpose?

  1. The ability to provide their manager and organization with feedback. Yet 57% of HR managers in non-desk industries confess to having no feedback process for frontline employees.
  2. Being recognized as an individual and receiving personalized experiences.
  3. Recognition of their expertise and opinions, including being asked about their insights, needs, preferences and suggestions.

How do you achieve the seemingly impossible task of combining open communications, individualization and giving every colleague a voice, when you employ thousands, or even tens of thousands of employees in all manner of capacities? Well that, ladies and gents, is where employee polls and surveys can transform your entire organization.

The next generation of employee polls and surveys

Organizations of all shapes and sizes have long known the benefits of and need for surveying the opinions of their workforce, which is where the annual employee engagement survey came in. Unfortunately, while times have changed in so many ways, the employee survey is as trapped in the past as Quantum Leap's Dr Sam Beckett (ironically, a reference that most your workforce is too young to understand…).

In our survey, 39% of the respondents admitted to using paper surveys, while 49% rely on the company intranet or email to collect employee feedback. How many of your frontline employees have regular (or any) access to your company email or intranet? The majority of companies are still performing these surveys on an annual basis too, creating an inefficient, delayed feedback loop that feeds a black hole of employee communications. Even if they do have access, these large annual surveys are rarely completed as they're so time-consuming to tackle.

That's why the trend in HR and internal communications has moved towards spot polls and pulse surveys — short, more frequent snapshots of mood and sentiment that provide head office, managers and employees alike with real-time actionable insights that can help them to improve their own and the organization's performance. It's inspired Speakap to add polls to our suite of product features.

Maximizing the use of employee polls and surveys.

  1. Replace traditional employee surveys: Instead of the cumbersome annual engagement survey that took forever to complete and even longer to analyze, use polls to check the pulse of your employees. You can send questions to the whole organization or even target specific groups or departments.
Employee polls can replace traditional employee surveys

2. Create a two-way dialogue: Asking for someone's opinions makes them feel recognized and valued as an employee. It also provides the business with ideas and perspective that might be lacking in head office, compared to the sales associates on the shop floor, for example. Tapping into this is the ultimate win-win situation.

Employee polls and surveys create internal dialogue

3. Show you care: Employee polls and surveys can also be used to gauge employees' opinions about matters that are important to them. Research shows that simply asking employees how they feel can increase engagement.

Discover what's important to your employees with employee polls and surveys

4. Spread the good news: News items are traditionally the most highly-engaged posts on Speakap, as head office shares important information with its workforce that has a broad impact. Sometimes a standard post is the correct way to inform employees; however, we've noticed some of our most creative customers using the polls functionality to share good news and celebrate achievements in ways that get even more engagement than traditional news items, while also spreading a sense of fun through their companies.

Use formats like employee polls to share company news in innovative way

5. Build your teams: Depending on the tool that you use, you can provide different permission levels for employee polls and surveys. While you may not want a part-time waiter surveying the opinions of your entire restaurant chain, it might make sense to allow employees to create their own surveys for their local groups.

Enable employees to create own polls and surveys

6. Every day is a school day: Finally, just as spot polls and pulse surveys have changed the way that employers are measuring the engagement of their employees, micro-learning has become a major trend in the learning and development space. The polls functionality can also be utilized as a micro-learning tactic.

Employee polls and surveys for learning and development

Some of these ideas for using employee polls and surveys in your company may seem more centered on fun than function, however, employee polls and surveys provide a more snackable, more enjoyable way of communicating with employees in a way that makes workers feel heard and provides managers with invaluable insights.

Speakap's polls feature gives you the ability to set up a short poll and share it on the timeline to gather information and feedback from the entire team or select groups. Polls support team building, two-way dialogue at scale, and enable you to collect feedback in live time.

To learn more, request a demo of this feature.

Free demo

Matt is an experienced journalist-turned-content marketer who writes about all things tech, SAAS and B2B.

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